Aston Villa have confirmed the arrival of defender Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United on a season-long loan.
The 23-year-old spent the 2018/19 campaign at Villa Park, making 35 appearances in all competitions to help lead Dean Smith’s side up to the Premier League.
Minutes have been hard to come by for Tuanzebe ever since, but he now has another shot to kick-start his career as Villa took to their official website to confirm the return of the young defender on a season-long loan.
The loan contract does not include an option to buy, with United keen to get Tuanzebe back next summer to have a closer look at him.
There had been hopes that Tuanzebe would blossom into a first-team regular at Old Trafford after his loan with Villa, but some rotten luck with injuries brought that optimism to a swift end.
He managed just 11 appearances in 2019/20, missing almost the entirety of the second half of the season after rarely being fit enough to play in the first six months, and that trend continued as he carried an ankle injury into last season.
Tuanzebe remained fit for most of the 2020/21 campaign but was well down the pecking order by that point. He ended the year with 19 appearances, with three of his four Premier League starts coming in the final month of the season.
At Villa, he’ll provide cover at both centre-back and right-back, but he is facing an uphill battle to reclaim the starting position he gave up two years ago.
At the heart of Smith’s defence, Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have been excellent, while right-back Matty Cash was among the best in his position last year.